Classic Spike

I have zero interest in playing WoW Classic.  I already did that 15 years ago.  I am however interested in the nostalgia meta.  WoW is a very interesting subject given that numbers around the game have been around for so long.

Without question the launch was very popular.  Peaked at 1.1m on Twitch where the normal average is ~80k.  I’ve followed a fair chunk of news/blogs on it, all quite interesting.

Apparently Ragnaros & Onyxia are dead.  Not sure why people would rush through Classic.  Seems to defeat the point and all the selling points of “a real world”.   On the meta level, it’s interesting that the most basic dungeon in retail has more mechanics than both of these classic raids combined (also, apparently people really like farming Silithus for Hydraxian faction).

Sure, people are talking about all sorts of learning curves.  Things that people thought would work (e.g. summon stones) but didn’t get set up.  Hit chance.  It’s interesting to see that relearning curve…it’s not like people’s memories are based on patch levels after all.  Things that came in with TBC and WotLK are all blended into the pre-Cata window.  Sort of like me thinking of older Easy Bake ovens.  They were hotter than my oven, and meant for kids.  Completely different than my memories.

A more recent trend is engagement.  I’ve written at length about the impacts to retail, but here in Classic we’re a week away from the 1 month line.  My gut was telling me that it would drop by 50% in 30 days, and then down by 80% by month 2.  Not necessarily a criticism of the game, but just that in 2019 gamer’s attention and willingness for time sinks isn’t exactly massive anymore.  Twitch numbers are down by ~80% from peak but triple their average.  It’s not the best tool for measuring popularity, but it is a trending tool all the same.  The news to read from this is that the MMO-tourist still exists.

I am reading across the blogging/forum world that there’s a general drop in players.  Again, expected.  Where the floor of players ends up is the real question.  And how many people who had dropped BfA, came back for Classic and are giving BfA a new try.  The new Blizz doesn’t do anything without financial incentive, so the number crunchers over there must be doing crazy OT to see how this plays out.  I’d be somewhat surprised if the overall retention numbers increase as both BfA is much better now than even 6 months ago, and the shock of Classic/Retail will surely keep some people subbed.

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